Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

The New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Names 2009-2010 Fellows


(New York, NY) April 9, 2009 – The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers has selected its eleventh class of Fellows: fourteen exceptional creative writers, independent scholars, and academics. The Fellows, whose appointments were announced today by Library President Dr. Paul LeClerc and Jean Strouse, the Sue Ann and John Weinberg Director of the Center, will have full access to the unparalleled research collections and online resources of The New York Public Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. They will be in residence at the Center from September 2009 through May 2010, pursuing a wide range of book projects that will make extensive use of the Library's magnificent holdings.

The Cullman Center Class of 2009-2010 includes:

- Four outstanding fiction writers: Rivka Galchen, Nicole Krauss, Joseph O’Neill, and Karen Russell

- The eminent translator Esther Allen

- New Yorker contributors Ian Frazier, the author of Great Plains and numerous other works of narrative nonfiction and humor, and Richard McGuire, a visual artist

- Andy Martin, a lecturer in the French Department at the University of Cambridge and former surfing correspondent for The Times (London)

- The culinary historian and award-winning author of Julia Child, Laura Shapiro

- And several other distinguished scholars

“These superb new Fellows will find more resources than they have dreamed of at The New York Public Library,” said the Library’s President, Paul LeClerc. “The Class of 2009-2010 will be, as indeed every class of Fellows has been, a wonderful tribute to the great generosity and wisdom of the late Dorothy Cullman.”

“I look forward with tremendous pleasure to beginning a new Cullman Center year next fall with the Class of 2009-2010,” said Cullman Center Director Jean Strouse. “The interactions among Fellows are different every year, and always fabulous. I can’t wait to see what happens with this impressive group!”

Each Fellow receives a stipend, office space with a computer in the Cullman Center’s handsome quarters on the second floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and the invaluable assistance of the Library’s deeply knowledgeable curatorial staff. (For more information about the Center, its current and former Fellows, and its programs for teachers, students, and the general public, visit

The Center fosters creative and scholarly conversation both within the Library and in the larger cultural context of New York, through informal lunches, public programs, and summer seminars for New York City middle and high school teachers. Many Cullman Center Fellows have published critically acclaimed works based on the research and writing they did while in residence at the Library. Some recent books include Philip Lopate’s Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan; Andrew Delbanco’s Melville: His World and Work; Patrick Radden Keefe’s Chatter: Inside the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping; Stacy Schiff’s A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America; Jennifer Egan’s The Keep; David Blight’s A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom; Nathan Englander’s The Ministry of Special Cases; Hermione Lee’s Edith Wharton; and Edmund White’s Hotel de Dream.

This year the Center received 238 applications from 19 countries. A committee comprised of scholars, public intellectuals, and writers across a spectrum of fields selected the Fellows.

About the 2009-2010 Fellows
Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers

Esther Allen
“Borges,” by Adolfo Bioy Casares: A Translation

Esther Allen’s translations include the Penguin Classics anthology José Martí: Selected Writings and, most recently, the novel Rex by former Cullman Center Fellow José Manuel Prieto. An Assistant Professor at Baruch College, CUNY, she cofounded the PEN World Voices international literature festival in 2005. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on an abridged and annotated translation of Argentine novelist Adolfo Bioy Casares's monumental Borges, a diary of Cesares’s lifelong literary conversation and friendship with Jorge Luis Borges.

Susan Einbinder
Memory’s Scribes: Jewish Physician-Poets in Late Medieval Europe
The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Fellow

Susan Einbinder teaches Hebrew literature at the Hebrew Union College's Cincinnati campus. She is the author of Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in Medieval France and No Place of Rest: Jewish Literature, Expulsion, and the Memory of Medieval France. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a study of medieval Jewish physicians in southern Europe, their medical and nonmedical writings, their passion for learning, and the price they paid for their remarkable careers.

Ian Frazier
Travels in Siberia

Ian Frazier writes humor, essays, and long nonfiction. His books include Dating Your Mom, Coyote v. Acme, Lamentations of the Father, Great Plains, Family, and On the Rez. At the Cullman Center, he will be doing research for a book to be called Travels in Siberia – about Siberia's history, geography, and place in the popular imagination, combined with accounts of Frazier’s own travels there.

François Furstenberg
When the United States Spoke French: Trans-Atlantic Politics, Land, and Diplomacy in the Age of Revolution
The Gilder Lehrman Fellow in American History

François Furstenberg is assistant professor of history at the Université de Montréal. He is the author of In the Name of the Father: Washington’s Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a book that connects American and French history in the age of eighteenth-century revolutions by following a set of transatlantic French émigrés who integrated themselves into the young nation’s political and economic life.

Rivka Galchen
The Nature of Theater in Oklahoma (fiction)

Rivka Galchen is the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Believer, Scientific American, Zoetrope, BOMB, Open City,and The New York Times. She currently teaches creative writing at Columbia University. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on The Nature of Theater in Oklahoma, a novel that plays with the common forms found in religious autobiography and pulp fiction.

Michael Golston
Allegory, Surrealism, and Postmodern Poetic Form

Michael Golston teaches twentieth-century poetry and poetics at Columbia University. His first book, Rhythm and Race in Modernist Poetry and Science, won the Louis Martz Prize for 2008. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a book about allegory, surrealism, and postmodern poetic form.

Nicole Krauss
From the Desk of Daniel Varsky (fiction)
The Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow

Nicole Krauss is the author of the novels Man Walks into a Room and The History of Love. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have received numerous awards, including the Saroyan Prize and France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire,and Best American Short Stories, and in 2007 she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a novel about a desk that travels across the world and the lives it draws together.

James Livingston
The Perils of Pluralism: The Life and Times of Horace Kallen

James Livingston is a professor of history at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and the author of four books, the most recent of which, The World Turned Inside Out: American Thought and Culture at the End of the 20th Century, will be published in the fall of 2009. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a biography of Horace Kallen, the founding father of cultural pluralism.

Andy Martin
What It Feels Like to Be Alive: According to Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus

Andy Martin teaches French at the University of Cambridge and writes about a great many subjects, including surfing. He is the author of Stealing the Wave, Walking on Water, Napoleon the Novelist, Waiting for Bardot, and The Knowledge of Ignorance. His latest book, Beware Invisible Cows: My Search for the Soul of the Universe, will be published in June, 2009. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on the philosophy of everyday life and on a project concerned with the art of description in the French novel.

Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire is a regular art contributor to The New Yorker. He has written and illustrated both children's books and experimental comics, and he is the author of two books of experiments in graphic narrative, Popeyeandolive and P+O. His comics have appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney's, Le Monde, and Libération. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on an illustrated book entitled Here, an exploration of time in a fixed location.

Joseph O'Neill
Dubai: A Novel

Joseph O’Neill is the author of three novels, most recently Netherland, which won the PEN/Faulkner Prize in 2009 and was named one of the “10 Best Books of the Year” for 2008 by The New York Times. He has also written a nonfiction book entitled Blood-Dark Track: A Family History, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2002 and a book of the year for the Economist and The Irish Times.

Karen Russell
Shibboleth (working title, fiction)
The von der Heyden Fellow

Karen Russell’s collection of stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times; in 2007 Russell was included in Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Conjunctions, Zoetrope,and Best American Short Stories 2007 and 2008. At the Cullman Center, she will begin work on a novel set in a mythical town during the Dust Bowl drought.

Laura Shapiro
Six Dreadful Dinners: Tales from the Underside of Food

Laura Shapiro, a journalist and culinary historian, is the author of Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century; Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America; and Julia Child, which won the International Association of Culinary Professionals award for literary food writing. At the Cullman Center, she will be working on a collection of biographical essays about women and food, looking in particular at iconic dinners where trouble arrived on a platter.

John Tresch

Life, Science, and Death: Edgar Allan Poe’s American Experiments
John Tresch teaches history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania. His current manuscript-in-progress is The Romantic Machine: Metamorphosis and Technology in France, 1820 to 1851. At the Cullman Center, he will be working on a book called Life, Science, and Death: Edgar Allan Poe’s American Experiments, which will show how Poe’s writings exploited the early Republic’s scientific and technological obsessions.

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – housed, respectively, in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 87 neighborhood libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves more than 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website,

Contact:Nadia Simone Riley212.592.7177|